Customer Spotlight: Land O'Lakes

For our mid-western readers, today’s entry might have special ties to you (me being from MN and now living in WI, it certainly does to me!) Headquartered in Arden Hills, MN, Land O’Lakes is one of America’s premier member-owned cooperatives. They offer local cooperatives and agricultural producers across the nation an extensive line of agricultural supplies, as well as state-of-the-art production and business services. They also are a leading marketer of dairy-based food products for consumers, foodservice professionals and food manufacturers.

Since 1921, Land O’Lakes has been member-owned and directed. Today, they are the second-largest cooperative in the nation with approximately 9,000 employees, 3,200 direct producer-members and 1,000 member-cooperatives serving more than 300,000 agricultural producers. They handle 12 billion pounds of milk annually, produce a plethora of dairy foods products, are home to their respective industries' top value-added brands and are a trusted partner to many of the nation's top food companies and manufacturers. Land O’Lakes does business in all 50 states and more than 50 countries.

Today’s story focuses on WinField Solutions, a company within Land O’Lakes, and how they were able to improve online experiences with a self-service portal.  Barry Libenson, CIO for Land O’Lakes, spoke last week in Hasan Rizvi’s keynote. In case you missed it, here is a recap of their conversation.

Hasan:
"Barry, Congratulations on the Titan Award on your implementation - supporting $3B in orders within the first three weeks. What were the issues you were experiencing with the previous platform that led you to select Fusion Middleware?"

Barry:
“That’s right Hasan. We, being a $14B company, we still used an old technology platform in the WinField business for order entry.  First of all, the platform was not something we ran ourselves; it was run by a third party on our behalf. While it allowed people to place orders, that's really all it allowed them to do. It didn't have any personalization, it had no tracking capabilities. We really wanted something that took us to the next generation, something that did provide that high degree of personalization, something that would allow customers to go into the system, make changes after orders were placed, and would give them the ability to also get information that they previously were not able to get.

We selected Oracle as a core platform here because we really wanted to have one supplier to meet most of our technology needs. We developed a composite application using Oracle WebCenter, called Connect3™, and it is used by the company’s 3000+ seed customers, 300+ internal and external sales forces, and business partners to handle all aspects of account management and order entry through a consolidated user interface based on the Fusion Middleware platform."

Hasan:  
"Great to see such a critical service running on the Fusion Middleware platform. Can you give simple real-life examples to explain where SOA Suite and WebCenter and Content Management comes into play?"

Barry:
“We really wanted to move the bar significantly and really jump out ahead of everybody in terms of capabilities, so we needed a tool that would allow us to have certain security capabilities, a high degree of personalization and one that could also handle an enormous volume as during peak seasons -- we ship well over a million bags of seed in a week.  We built the Connect3™ composite application on the full “Red Stack” solution comprising of Oracle WebCenter, Application Development Framework (ADF), AIA, JDE (leveraging BSSVs), and Oracle Transportation Management.

Oracle WebCenter had the horsepower to handle the volumes that we knew we would be pumping through the system and create that type of personalized experience. It integrated very well with the back-end database and ERP environment that we were using, as well as SOA and BPM and basically met all of the requirements to do the things we needed to have done. At launch, the application stood up to the onslaught of customers and successfully processed all of the orders placed. In the first week, 10,000 order lines were booked and as many as 20,000 order-line changes were made. And it’s estimated that we will have supplied 10% of the corn, alfalfa and soy bean crop in 2012 in the US.”

If you want to hear more about how Land O’Lakes is using Oracle WebCenter, be sure to check out the video below.  And I bet most of you thought Land O’Lakes just made butter…



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